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Some silly question on oscillators

  1. Mar 10, 2009 #1
    Ok

    i know that the solution for the harmonic oscillator differential equation is

    x=Acos(wt+d)

    However,

    I also know that most of the time, atleast in average intermediate mechanics problems the phase difference, d is zero. this baffles me a lot. for example if there is a spring and i stretch it 10 cm and let it go, i know that the phase difference is zero because cosine starts from a maximum and the 10cm i stretched are going to be the maximum. but when does d actually is a value?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2009 #2
    same question for damped oscillators btw
     
  4. Mar 10, 2009 #3

    clem

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    Science Advisor

    If there is motion at t=0. For instance if you start it by an impulse.
     
  5. Mar 10, 2009 #4
    If you use the representation x = Asin(wt + d), and you release the spring at t = 0, then d = pi/2 radians (90 degrees).
     
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